Hello everyone! Travis Nunlist back again and boy am I excited for the upcoming Dallas Regional Championship. Last time I spoke with y’all was right before the Memphis Regional Championship which ended up being the biggest Regional Championship ever with 949 Masters! The Dallas Regional Championship is looking to be even bigger than that as the Pre-Registration numbers recently broke 1,000 Masters! I’m incredibly excited to be attending what will seemingly be known as the biggest Regional Championship to date, though if current trends persist, it won’t hold that title for very long.
Since we last spoke I’ve been able to attend 2 League Cups in the SoCal area, with one being Standard and the other Expanded. I played Gardevoir at the Standard cup which lead me to a T4 finish after losing to Buzzwole/Lycanroc. I played Seismitoad/Zoroark-GX at the Expanded League Cup which lead me to a T8 finish after losing to the mirror match. The tournaments looked like this:
Glendale, CA Standard League Cup – Gardevoir (Brokenvoir)
R1 Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX GRI W
R2 Ninetales-GX/Zoroark-GX W
R3 Lycanroc-GX GRI/Zoroark-GX W
R4 Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX GRI L
R5 Gardevoir-GX T
T4 Buzzwole-GX/Lycanroc-GX GRI LL
Bakersfield, CA Expanded League Cup – Seismitoad/Zoroark
R1 Metagross-GX W
R2 Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX GRI W
R3 Tapu Koko SM30/Seismitoad-EX/Dusknoir BCR W
R4 Seismitoad-EX/Zoroark-GX W
T8 Seismitoad/Zoroark LL
I’m not sure what’s been happening to me lately, but I have been unable to win a game of top cut since moving to SoCal, despite making cut at 4/5 of the cups I’ve attended. I always seem to breeze through Swiss, but then get run over in Top Cut. I want to chalk it up to mostly bad luck, but I don’t think it would be entirely fair to do so. Both of these series played out similarly, with me opening horrendously G1 and losing very quickly, followed by much closer G2s where I made a small misplay that ultimately lead to me being knocked out. I could be upset about losing an entire game in both series due to variance, but ultimately focusing on the misplays and ensuring they do not happen again is going to be the most productive avenue for improvement.
Other than the League Cup with Gardevoir, and a bit of practice leading up to it, I have been playing exclusively Expanded for quite some time, as San Jose Regionals was my last big event. I am mostly very content with how the Expanded metagame has played out, and am pretty happy with the format. Night March is clearly the current BDIF, while Zoroark-GX continues to be the most heavily played card in both Standard and Expanded. I’m not entirely certain how I feel about how polarizing Zoroark-GX (and to an extent Puzzle of Time) has been, but I do think the card has lead to a much healthier format overall—especially in Standard. The consistency and control that Zoroark-GX has brought to decks has been absolutely incredible to see, and when that level of consistency is available to both players, then it’s safe to assume that the more thoughtful/skilled player will end up winning more often than not.
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